Born in Philadelphia, poet Mary Gilliland lives in Ithaca, New York, where she has taught writing at Cornell University and at Namgyal Monastery Institute of Buddhist Studies, the Dalai Lama's seat in North America. Awards include the Stanley Kunitz Fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown; a BBC Wildlife Magazine Poet of the Year Award for Nature Poetry; featured poet at the Al Jazeera Film Festival in Doha; poet in residence at the Chautauqua Institute; and a studio resident at MASS MoCA. Her work has been honored with a Cornell University Council for the Arts Faculty Grant, an Ann Stanford Poetry Prize, a Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, and the Judith Siegel Pearson Award for Poetry. Gilliland’s poetry has appeared in AGNI, Chautauqua, Epoch, Helicon Nine, High Plains Literary Review, Hotel Amerika, LIT, Nimrod, Notre Dame Review, Passages North, Poetry, Provincetown Arts, Rhino, Seattle Review, Seneca Review, Slant, Smartish Pace, Spoon River Quarterly, Stand, Stone Canoe, Tampa Review, and been anthologized in such publications as Emily Dickinson Awards Anthology; Environment: Essence and Issue; Out of the Catskills and Just Beyond; Southern California Anthology; The &NOW Awards: The Best Innovative Writing. She has served on the boards of the Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts and the Durland Alternatives Library, and is a founding board member of Light on the Hill Retreat Center. At home, she and her husband Peter Fortunato have transformed a rocky acre of the Six Mile Creek watershed into a woodland garden.
Mary Gilliland worked in the Veltin studio.
Veltin Studio was donated by alumni of the Veltin School, a school for girls in New York with a highly respected visual arts department. As the plaque just outside the entrance attests, this studio was used by poet Edwin Arlington Robinson during most of the 24 summers he spent at MacDowell. Perhaps most famously, Thornton Wilder put the finishing…